The Natural Nurse And Dr. Z – 05.05.15

May 5, 2015

Host Ellen Kamhi, PhD, RN,, interviews Mr. Tony Martinez. Tony is a Food & Drug and International Trade Attorney. He was directly involved with the passage of the landmark Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 and other FDA related measures.

Walking May Save Your Life – Maylin Rodriguez-Paez

April 30, 2015

When most people think about exercising, they usually think about long hours at the gym performing grueling exercises. No wonder so many dread it. But in reality, visiting the gym isn’t really necessary. In fact, something as simple as walking can be enough to provide valuable health benefits — according to a study from the University of Cambridge. The study found that a small amount of walking significantly reduced the risk of death.1 The results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 20 Minutes of Exercise Reduced Risk of Death by 16-30% Previous research shows that thin people who don’t exercise are unhealthier than their exercising counterparts. The same trend is seen for obese people. Scientists analyzed the exercise habits of 334,161 Europeans and followed them up after a mean period of 12 years. They examined the relationship between physical activity, obesity, and the risk of death. They found that as little as 20 minutes of exercise per day was enough to reduce the risk of death between 16-30% in people who considered themselves inactive. This applied to people who were of normal weight and to those who were overweight as well. They also found that inactivity killed twice as many people

Organic farming can reverse the agriculture ecosystem from a carbon source to a carbon sink

April 30, 2015

Approximately 35% of global greenhouse gases (GHGs) come from agriculture. Some argues that human can reverse global worming by sequestering several hundred billion tons of excess CO2 through regenerative, organic farming, ranching and land use. Increasing the soil’s organic content will not only fix carbon and reduce emissions, it will also improve the soil’s ability to retain water and nutrients and resist pests and droughts. To mitigate GHG emissions and retain soil fertility, organic agriculture might be a wise choice for decreasing the intensive use of synthetic fertilizers, protecting environments, and further improving crop yields. Recent research showed that replacing chemical fertilizer with organic manure significantly decreased the emission of GHGs. Organic farming can reverse the agriculture ecosystem from a carbon source to a carbon sink. To explore the potential of farmlands acting as a carbon sink without yield losses, Jiang Gaoming, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Botany, conducted an experiment on a temperate eco-farm in eastern rural China. Crop residues were applied to cattle feed and the composted cattle manure was returned to cropland with a winter wheat and maize rotation. Crop yield and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were carefully calculated according to the

Food Stamps Are Worth Double at These Michigan Farmers Markets—Helping Families and Local Businesses – Araz Hachadourian

April 30, 2015

Vicki Zilke is a farmer in Ypsilanti, Mich., population 20,000, where more than a quarter of residents live below the poverty line. Every week, she sells her vegetables at Downtown Ypsilanti Farmers Market, one of two in the city. Nearly 40 percent of the shoppers at both hubs are on some form of food assistance funding from the government. The two farmers markets first started accepting payment through food assistance programs  back in 2006. But that year, they only received $378 from the program. But in 2010, an incentive program called Double Up Food Bucks expanded from Detroit to Ypsilanti. The program matches SNAP money (formerly known as “food stamps”) dollar-for-dollar when people spend it at farmers markets. That means shoppers can double up to $20 in spending on fruits and veggies. By 2014 customers spent more than $39,000 at these markets through initial SNAP dollars combined with Double Up’s supplement. So instead of a customer base with $20 of SNAP money to spend, farmers like Zilke had a customer base with $40 to spend. “I make more money, I expand my business, and then I can hire more people,” Zilke said. “If I hire more people I then improve the bottom

New Studies Add to Growing Evidence That Notorious Pesticides Harm Bees – Nadia Prupis

April 27, 2015

Two new studies published in Nature on Wednesday show that neonicotinoid pesticides—or neonics for short—may be even more harmful to bees than previously thought. Those studies, Bees Prefer Foods Containing Neonicotinoid Pesticides and Ecology: Tasteless Pesticides Affect Bees in the Field, add to the growing list of evidence that neonics are a major contributing factor to bee population decline and reinforce the case for restricting the use of those pesticides. In the first study, researchers from Newcastle University conducted a test to determine how honeybees and bumblebees responded to nectar laced with three of the most commonly used neonics, and found that both species actually preferred those solutions. The data also indicated that the bees preferred the pesticides—imidacloprid (IMD), thiamethoxam (TMX), and clothianidin (CLO)—even though they could not taste them and the consumption of the pesticides caused the bees to eat less overall. “Like nicotine they are essentially amplifying the rewarding properties of the sucrose solution that they are located in and the bees think its more rewarding so they go back to that food tube to drink more of it,” Professor Geraldine Wright, who led Newcastle University’s study, told the Guardian on Wednesday. It was unclear if that preference would remain in the wild. However, the researchers note,

FDA Database: 93% of Food Additives Aren’t Properly Studied – Barbara Minton

April 24, 2015

If the mandate of the FDA includes protecting public health by assuring the safety of the food supply, why is the organization allowing a staggering amount of additives to adulterate our food? Many of these additives have dire consequences to the health this agency is supposed to protect. Since the advent of commercially processed foods in the 1950’s, many non-food substances have come into common usage to preserve and enhance the taste and appearance of products made with cheap ingredients. Increasingly, these additives such as indigestible gums have been used to replace real food ingredients. The use of food additives has allowed food producers to make higher profits at the expense of public health. Today, thousands of different food additives are allowed by the FDA, although a 2013 study found that almost 80% of them lack the relevant information needed to estimate the amount that consumers can safely eat. In the FDA’s own database, 93% of food additives lack reproductive or developmental toxicity data. Of the totality of FDA-regulated additives, both directly and indirectly allowed in food, almost two-thirds don’t have publicly available feeding data. The report concluded that in the absence of toxicology data on the majority of chemicals added to food, their safety in humans may

I am a cook in the US Senate but I still need food stamps to feed my children – Bertrand Olotara

April 23, 2015

Every day, I serve food to some of the most powerful people on earth, including many of the senators who are running for president: I’m a cook for the federal contractor that runs the US Senate cafeteria. But today, they’ll have to get their meals from someone else’s hands, because I’m on strike. I am walking off my job because I want the presidential hopefuls to know that I live in poverty. Many senators canvas the country giving speeches about creating “opportunity” for workers and helping our kids achieve the “American dream” – most don’t seem to notice or care that workers in their own building are struggling to survive. I’m a single father and I only make $12 an hour; I had to take a second job at a grocery store to make ends meet. But even though I work seven days a week – putting in 70 hours between my two jobs – I can’t manage to pay the rent, buy school supplies for my kids or even put food on the table. I hate to admit it, but I have to use food stamps so that my kids don’t go to bed hungry. I’ve done everything that

Feeding the Future Through Agroecology – M. Jahi Chappell, Tara Ritter

April 23, 2015

The devastating drought in California, home to much of the country’s fruit and vegetable production, is spurring discussions about the future of food production in a new age of climate change. When broaching the topic of solving the future food dilemma—feeding a growing population while using the same amount of land and facing more volatile weather events—the arguments typically fall into one of two camps: 1.) produce more food on less land through the use of technology, chemicals, and genetically modified seeds, or 2.) turn to decentralized and diversified farming practices that naturally boost soil health and farm resilience, such as diverse crop rotations, cover crops, reducing tillage where it makes sense, and building local food systems. Feedstuffs, a weekly newspaper for agribusiness, recently ran an article on the topic of solving the future food dilemma that included results from an Oklahoma State University study called FooDS (Food Demand Survey). FooDS is a national online survey which includes at least 1,000 individuals each month, measuring consumers’ priorities, expectations, and awareness and concern about various food and agriculture issues, among other topics. When such studies appear in an agribusiness publication, one might expect them to highlight the benefits of technological fixes to farming problems. However,

iEat Green – Anna Lappe, Co-Founder of The Small Planet Institute and Author of “Diet for a Hot Planet” – 04.23.15

April 23, 2015

I am very excited to have Anna Lappe as my guest this week, on the Progressive Radio Network. Anna is the co-founder of the Small Planet Institute as well as the Small Planet Fund, and the daughter of Francis Moore Lappe, who wrote Diet for a Small Planet, the first book I read that inspired me to give up meat when I was 16! She is currently the head of the Real Food Media Project, which is a new initiative to spread the story of the power of sustainable food using creative movies, an online action center, and grassroots events. One of the films we showed at the LI Food and Film Feast, Do We Need Industrial Agriculture to Feed the World, was produced by, and starred Anna as the narrator. Her latest book, Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, was named by Booklist and Kirkus as one of the best environmental book’s of the year. Anna is also the co-author of Hope’s Edge, which chronicles social movements fighting hunger around the world, and Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen, showcasing the ecological and social benefits of sustainable food with seasonal menus from chef Bryant

Eat Leafy Greens for a Sharper Brain – Traci Pedersen

April 22, 2015

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” —Hippocrates A new study has found that eating leafy green vegetables – such as spinach, kale and mustard greens – can have a dramatically positive effect on our thinking abilities. In fact, older people who eat one to two servings a day of leafy greens have the cognitive skills of a person over a decade younger. Lead researcher Martha Clare Morris, Sc.D. will present the new findings at the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) Annual Meeting during Experimental Biology 2015. Losing one’s memory is a big fear as people age, says Morris. Eating more leafy green vegetables could offer a very simple, affordable and non-invasive way of protecting your brain from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, she adds. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., with almost most two-thirds of those with the disease being women. For several years, researchers followed 954 older adults (average age 81) from the Memory and Aging Project, a study which aims to identify factors leading to healthier cognition. Participants filled out a 144-item questionnaire in which they reported their daily food and drink consumption. Their cognitive
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